As I was browsing through Facebook, I came across a post from a local bicycle shop. They had put up the following picture:
First, I see this statement as somewhat elitist. It makes it sound (or at least, is inferred) that in order to get into cycling, a person has to spend a great deal of money. If you don't have that money, then you aren't permitted to join this special group of people who can spend lots of extra money on bicycles. Is this really the image that should be projected by a local bike shop? I've been in this specific store several times, and they do carry a wide range of bicycles that range from fairly inexpensive up to the most ridiculously costly bikes, but this statement certainly doesn't reflect that. If I was looking for a bike and knew nothing about this shop, I'm not sure I'd want to go here as an option.
Along with the elitist sort of thoughts, I can't help but wonder why on earth one would be concerned about his bicycles after he's passed on. Not only is he concerned, but it's apparently his biggest fear. Again, I fully understand that this is intended as a joke, however, is this individual so caught up in monetary concerns that even after he's no longer in an earthly body he's worried about how much he'll (or his wife) get out of the bikes?
Then there's my bigger issue here. I find it interesting that the individual who created this chose to use the pronoun "wife" instead of "partner" or "spouse." I know plenty of women who have spent their fair share on bicycles, and in fact, using our household as only one example, I have far more monetarily into my bikes than Sam has into his. There are reasons for this outside of money, but I can't say I care for the inference that the "little lady" can't possibly know the costs of a bicycle nor a reasonable price to sell it. Doesn't this just perpetuate ideas that should have long ago died out?
As stated, I could easily have passed by this meme and not thought twice, and I see the humor in the general idea, but I don't know if I believe this is an appropriate statement or idea to be spreading... particularly by a bike shop. On one hand, I'm not so serious about life that I think everything someone says is an attempt to keep segments of society at a lower level, but on the other, I think there should be more awareness in regard to the wording of statements as well. Although I'm certainly no angel and have undoubtedly said things that may have offended someone, that is never my intention to do so. Is intent the most important piece of the puzzle, or are there statements that should never be made? What do you think? They are just words, but words create ideas and lead to the formation of opinions - whether good or bad, positive or negative. Should memes like the one above be taken with humor and the spirit they were intended, or are there instances when ideas like these simply shouldn't be spread?